PERARES PROJECT EVALUATIONS

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1 PERARES PROJECT EVALUATIONS The checklist and survey forms in the following pages are proposed for use in by Perares partners in evaluation of projects they undertake within Perares or independently of Perares. These evaluation templates have been refined through feedback in and will be improved further through additional feedback. This evaluation toolkit is designed to help in assessing the performance of projects focused on research for social purposes and improving their quality and to help in assessing the influences of such projects on the development of scientific knowledge. For purposes of comparison and consistency we ask Perares partners to use these forms rather than any others they may currently use. However, Perares partners may in some cases wish to use additional methods, in particular discussion groups and interviews, in order, for example, to deepen insight into why certain answers have been given. These forms were prepared for use in projects that conform more or less to the following model: they address the research needs of a social group, perhaps represented by CSOs, and they are managed by a science shop or similar organisation that can call on contributions from student assistants and their academic supervisors to carry out the research. However, the forms may also be usable for projects carried out, for example, without students or academic supervisors. The questions that refer to these participants can simply be marked, Does not apply. We recognise that not all questions can be answered by all parties to the project. Rather than produce multiple sets of questionnaires for the various parties we have indicated that respondents should not answer questions that do not apply to them. Equally, there are questions here that do not apply to some kinds of projects and, again, these questions can be marked as Does not apply. The main responsibility for ensuring that all relevant questions are answered by all relevant parties rests with the organisation at the centre of the project, that is, the Perares participant / science shop. FOUR STAGES OF EVALUATION The forms that follow are: 1. Checklist for early stage evaluation; this is to be used in the preparatory phase before substantive interventions happen and researchers go into the field 2. Questionnaire for mid point evaluation; this is to be used at a stage in a project when the project can still be modified without damage to it 3. Questionnaire for end point evaluation; this is to be used when the project report is submitted 4. Questionnaire for post project evaluation; this is to be used for assessing longer term impacts and carried out approximately 12 months after the project has completed

2 PREPARING THE EVALUATIONS In preparing for project evaluation the following steps are recommended: Identify who in the project team will be responsible for overseeing the evaluation Identify stakeholders and partners to be included in the evaluation Discuss the purpose and procedures of the evaluation with participants and set out the scope and aims of the evaluation Prepare partners for the possibility that evaluation results may not be universally welcomed Clarify any differences in relation to the objectives of evaluation; any such differences should be dealt with openly At this stage do not change the evaluation forms but note that any question may be marked Does not apply and can be skipped. If there are issues you feel are not covered by the forms or you would like to investigate more deeply, do gather information by other means, such as interviews or focus groups. COLLECTING DATA Print and copy the required numbers of the relevant set of forms (e.g. 3 4 pages marked as mid point or end point) from this document. Do not distribute the complete document. It is best to have the forms completed when meeting the relevant participants and stakeholders, rather than sending them out. This ensures a higher completion rate and completion on time. It may not always be possible to have the forms completed in this way, so it is important to keep track of where and how many forms have been sent out. Keep the completed forms safely at least until the end of the Perares project (mid 2014). ANALYZING SURVEY RESULTS Filling in the forms does not constitute the evaluation. It is the analysis of the responses and reflection on this analysis that makes for an evaluation. It is the responsibility of the key partners to ensure all other partners have an opportunity to respond to the evaluation findings as represented in an overall summary. For this summary, record the numbers of responses in each category (such as 'strongly agree' or 'don't know') for each question. You can use a blank evaluation form as a summary sheet, entering manually the numbers of responses in each box. This summary record will quickly show where there are high levels of agreement or disagreement or where there are high numbers of Don't know or Does not apply answers that might be a cause for further discussion. Responses to the open ended questions (comment fields) can be grouped according to the issues raised. Along with the summary of findings, the evaluation report should outline in a single page the conclusions and recommendations, including plans to remedy any shortcomings. A draft copy of the evaluation report should be provided for all stakeholders who should be invited to give their observations on it. The report should then be finalized and circulated to all stakeholders.

3 REPORTING ON THE USE OF EVALUATION TOOLS We ask Perares partners to provide evaluation reports as outlined above to WP9 and to further report to WP9 on their experiences using the evaluation tools. This should cover in 1 2 pages: Content of the forms Are all aspects, issues and topics of the project covered? Are the questions clear? Appropriateness of the instruments Are the tools easy to use? Is the length of questionnaire acceptable? Do the evaluation tools address the needs of all stakeholders? Did the evaluation tools allow the project to be investigated in a complete and fair way? Drawing conclusions from data Is the information collected relevant to the project? Did the evaluation provide feedback that was useful for all stakeholders? Do the criteria used reflect the projects' concerns? Effects of the evaluation Has the evaluation helped to improve processes during the project? Will insights from the evaluations be used for future projects? Did the evaluation cause disruption? How much interest was there in the evaluation report?

4 Start point evaluation page 1 START POINT EVALUATION This evaluation should take place in the preparatory phase of a project, before any substantive work has been done. The main purpose of evaluation at this stage of a project is to ensure that the objectives and methods have been clearly defined and that the resources are in place to meet the stated objectives. Going through this checklist will help identify where there are gaps in the planning or issues to be clarified. To each question a simple Yes, No or Does not Apply should be recorded. This checklist of questions should be addressed in discussion among the partners in the project. The science shop (or similar organisation) at the centre of the project should take responsibility for completing the checklist and confirming the responses with the other parties to the project. Where 'No' answers are in the majority, discussion should ensure that all parties agree that a No is acceptable or that more information needs to be gathered so that the answer can be changed to 'Yes'. The partners to the project are: social groups and/or civil society organisations concerned with the issues under study; the science shop or similar organisation that is managing the project; student researchers who carry out the study under supervision of a senior researcher; those academic supervisors; any other groups or agencies contributing to the project. The participants are the individuals who belong to the partners. Project name: Framing and aims Yes No Does not apply 1. Have the aims for various stages of the project been clearly defined? 2. Is it clearly established what end products are to be produced (e.g. research report, policy advice)? 3. Have the main questions for investigation been clearly formulated? 4. Have the societal aims (e.g. policy change; raising awareness; promoting new interactions) been clearly defined? 5. Does the project have clearly defined research aims (e.g. encourage new research; influence research agenda)?

5 Start point evaluation page 2 Means and organisation Yes No Does not apply 6. Are the project methods clearly defined? 7. Is it clear who will collect the data for the project research? 8. Is it clear who will analyse the data for the project research? 9. Do the researchers have experience with this kind of research? 10. Is it clear who has the main responsibility for ensuring the research is completed satisfactorily? Resources 11. Is it clear how much money is available to the project? 12. Is it clear how much time researchers have for the project? 13. Is any necessary equipment available? 14. Is the time span of the project clearly defined? Involvement 15. Are the roles of the partners at each stage of the project clearly defined? 16. Are procedures in place for dealing with any differences that may arise between partners on the conduct of the project? 17. Has a date been set for mid term evaluation of the project? Any other issues for this project:

6 Mid point evaluation page 1 MID POINT EVALUATION This survey should be conducted at the mid point of a project that runs for, say, more than six months. It may not be practical for shorter projects. The main purpose of evaluation at mid point in a project is to identify where improvements can or must be made in order to complete the project satisfactorily. The survey should be completed by all individuals directly involved in commissioning, conducting and overseeing the project. The survey results will help identify where there are problems to be addressed or there are opportunities for quality improvement. Follow up interviews or discussion groups could be used to deepen the understanding of those problems or opportunities. The partners to the project are: the social groups and/or civil society organisations concerned with the issues under study; the science shop or similar organisation that is managing the project; student assistants or other assistants who carry out the study; the students academic supervisors; any other groups or agencies contributing to the project. The participants are the individuals who belong to the partners. The main responsibility for ensuring that all partners complete the survey rests with the organisation at the centre of the project, that is, the science shop. Please state your role in the project (mark X): Science shop personnel: Civil society organisation: Student researcher: Academic supervisor: Other (specify): Project name: Framing Disagree Agree Does not apply Don t Know 1. The project is proceeding in line with the original aims 2. The experience has shown that the main questions were well defined at the start 3. Any changes to the main questions have been agreed between the partners in the project 4. The partners in the project anticipate some questions and aims may need to be redefined as the project proceeds

7 Objectives Disagree Agree Does not apply Don t Know 5. The project has achieved the objectives set for this point 6. Any delays experienced so far can be overcome 7. The partners in the project need to re set the objectives for the later stages of the project 8. The various roles and responsibilities on this project are clearly established 9. It is clear how personnel resources have been allocated for carrying out this project 10. It is clear how financial resources have been allocated for carrying out this project 11. The methods for this project have been well chosen Resources 12. The personnel on this project are well suited to the tasks 13. The project has an adequate number of personnel 14. The project has adequate funding 15. The project has adequate administrative facilities Involvement 16. The participants in the project have had reasonable opportunity to contribute to the content of the project 17. The participants in the project have had reasonable opportunity to contribute to the approach of the project 18. The partners in the project are working well together 19. Some changes in direction may be needed in the future In my opinion the most valuable aspect of this project will be: In my opinion the most difficult aspect of this project will be:

8 End of project page 1 END OF PROJECT EVALUATION This survey is intended to be conducted at the point where the final report has been delivered. This evaluation aims mainly to establish the level of satisfaction of those involved with the outputs and conduct of the project. The questionnaire should be completed by all individual participants who contributed actively to the project, or, in a large project, by at least one representative of all categories of participant (e.g. civil society organisation, student, supervisor, science shop staff, etc.). The partners to the project are: the social groups and/or civil society organisations concerned with the issues under study (also the clients ); the science shop or similar organisation that is managing the project; student project assistants or researchers who carry out the study; the students academic supervisors; any other groups or agencies contributing to the project. The participants are the individuals who belong to the partners. The main responsibility for ensuring that all partners complete the survey rests with the organisation at the centre of the project, that is, the science shop. Please state your role in the project (mark X): Science shop personnel: Civil society organisation: Student researcher: Academic supervisor: Other (specify): Project name: Outputs Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree Does not apply Don t Know 1. The project s final report met the clients needs 2. The project s final report is useful to a wider public than the immediate clients 3. The project s final report represents significant academic research 4. The project s final report is likely to influence the direction of future research 5. The project s final report is readable for a non specialist public 6. Student(s) involved in the project improved their ability to perform research 7. The project outputs were consistent with overall objectives

9 End of project page 2 Experience Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree Does not apply Don t Know 8. Participants in the project were satisfied with how it ran 9. Students on the project received good supervision 10. Overall, the expectations of the project partners have been met Resources 11. Personnel resources available for the project were appropriate for the project 12. Financial resources available for the project were appropriate for the project needs 13. Facilities available for the project (e.g. equipment, meeting spaces) were appropriate for the project needs Involvement 14. Participants in the project developed a common understanding of the problem area 15. Forming a partnership between the organisations involved was beneficial to all of them 16. The partnership was conducted efficiently 17. The student(s) involved showed satisfactory commitment to the project 18. The academic supervisor(s) involved showed satisfactory commitment to the project 19. The civil society organisation(s) involved showed satisfactory commitment to the project 20. The science shop staff involved showed satisfactory commitment to the project

10 End of project page 3 Most valuable aspect In my opinion the most valuable aspect of the project was: Looking back Based on my experience of the project I think the initial project should have been changed in the following way: Further comments

11 End of project page 4 Annexe to End of Project survey This table is offered as a template for recording in summary the resources used in the project. It may be useful for the internal audit of the project. The science shop and its academic partner(s) should complete this questionnaire jointly. Project statistics Number Students or other project assistants involved in the project Total credits, e.g. ECTS, obtained by students for participation in project Average grade for student assignments with this project Academics involved in the project Total personnel involved (paid and volunteer), including student assistants Value of contract research in cash Days from first contact to delivery of final product Civil society organisations contributing to the project Private enterprises contributing to the project Local government agencies contributing to the project State agencies contributing to the project

12 Post project page 1 POST PROJECT EVALUATION This survey is proposed to be conducted one year after the delivery of the final report. It aims to establish longer term impacts of the project both through retrospective assessments of the outcomes and through the detail of research outputs. It may be especially useful for longer term planning by science shops. The main responsibility for ensuring that partners complete the survey rests with the organisation at the centre of the project, that is, the science shop. Please state your role in the project (mark X): Science shop personnel: Civil society organisation: Student researcher: Academic supervisor: Other (specify): Project name: Processes and relations Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree Does not apply Don t Know 1. The project increased the clients knowledge of how research is done 2. The project increased the students interest in societal issues 3. The project increased the academics interest in community based research 4. The project helped develop continuing relations between academics and civil society organisations 5. The project influenced the direction of further research in the subject area 6. The project increased the partners capacity to get project funding

13 Post project page 2 Longer term impacts 7. The project led to the development of new research collaborations 8. Publication of the project results raised awareness of the issue(s) more widely 9. Publication of the project results caused alternative policy options to be considered 10. Publication of the project results led to improvements in an existing policy, programme or service 11. Publication of the project results led to new research in the subject area 12. This project helped the development of the science shop involved Comments The most important impact of the project was: The most disappointing aspect of the project was:

14 Post project page 3 Annexe to post project survey The following table is offered as a template for recording in summary the outputs from the project. It may be useful for the internal audit especially of larger scale projects. The science shop (or similar unit) and its academic partner(s) should complete this questionnaire jointly. Project outputs Number Academic publications produced arising from this project Non academic publications/documents produced (e.g. policy reports, guidelines) Citations in academic publications Mentions, appearances or contributions in public media (e.g. radio, TV, newspapers) Mentions in non academic publications/documents (e.g. policy reports, guidelines) Participations in academic conferences where the project was presented Participations in non academic conferences where the project was presented New in house research projects on same or related theme Requests for advice on policy or legal issues relating to the project topic

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